Deep Frying Safety

Chuck out your chip pan – it could save your life!

Chip pan fires cause one fifth of all accidental dwelling fires in the UK each year. Nearly 20 people are killed or injured every day in accidental fires that start in their kitchen, the most common of these caused by deep fat frying.

If you do choose to deep fat fry your chips, make sure you do it safely. Why not get them from a takeaway? If you make them at home, use a thermostat-controlled deep-fat fryer as this will make sure the fat doesn’t get too hot when you are deep-fat frying or cooking with oil as hot oil can catch fire easily.

Think about what you’re doing when you’re deep frying. You’re heating several pints of oil to extremely high temperatures. The oil can not only cause terrible burns, but it can go up in flames. In fact, it’s an ideal fuel for a fire, and difficult to put out.

If you still intend to cook chips in a traditional chip pan, follow these fire safety tips:

  • Alcohol and cooking don’t mix – if you really want some chips get a takeaway
  • Only fill a pan up to one-third full of fat or oil
  • If you need to leave the kitchen – switch off the heat
  • Food shouldn’t be put in the pan if the oil begins to give off smoke
  • Make sure food is dry before putting it in hot oil so it doesn’t splash
  • Before putting food in the pan, dry the food and test the temperature of the oil by putting in a small piece of bread. If the bread crisps quickly the oil is ready
  • Turn off the heat and leave the oil to cool, otherwise it could catch fire

If your chip pan catches fire:

  • Turn off the heat under the pan (if it’s safe to do so) and allow it to cool completely
  • Avoid throwing water on a chip pan fire
  • The pan shouldn’t be moved, it will be very hot
  • Don’t take any risks – get out, stay out and call 999